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Marijuana might reverse heart failure, University of Hawaii study finds

University of Hawaii researchers have discovered that the use of marijuana may reverse heart failure.

A recent study shows that drugs can protect and reverse damage to the heart from the stress that progresses the disease. Heart failure can be caused by heart attacks, leaky valves, hypertension and other illnesses.

Alexander Stokes, assistant professor in cell and molecular biology at the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine, said the potential medical benefits of cannabis to treat heart disease are promising.

“Anecdotally, people who have heart attacks recover more quickly if they’re marijuana users,” he said. “On the flip side, they have more severe heart attacks to start with.”

Stokes, the founder of Makai Biotechnology, a Hawaii-based cardiovascular therapy company, is working to bring new drugs to market with GB Sciences Inc., a pharmaceutical company that operates dispensaries in Nevada.

“Heart disease and diabetes are very prevalent in the islands and there’s greater prevalence in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations,” he said. “It’s important to discover new therapies that impact this terrible disease.”

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